JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AWARDS $16 MILLION TO TEXAS TO COMPENSATE CRIME VICTIMS
WASHINGTON, DC – Texas received $16,020,000 for compensation payments to crime victims, the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) announced today. These funds, awarded by OJP’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), will provide support to thousands of crime victims throughout the state.
“Since the Crime Victims Fund was established in 1986, crime victims in Texas have received over $131 million in support,” said OJP Assistant Attorney General Deborah J. Daniels. “The Justice Department is pleased to support both the collection efforts for the Crime Victims Fund, which provides these program dollars, and the allocation of these resources to help Texas’s crime victims.”
Texas’s compensation program receives annual grants equal to 60 percent of its total payout to crime victims in a previous year. Compensation programs work similarly to private insurance, providing reimbursement to, or on behalf of, crime victims for expenses such as medical costs, mental health counseling, funeral and burial costs, and lost wages.
“This grant will help give crime victims a helping hand at the time when they most need it,” said OVC Director John W. Gillis. “By helping meet critical expenses, compensation programs can provide the support needed to help victims move on with their lives.”
Money for these annual awards comes from the Crime Victims Fund – which is supported primarily by fines paid by federal criminal offenders – not taxpayers. These fines are collected by United States Attorneys’ Offices, the U.S. Courts and the Bureau of Prisons. Fines collected in one year are deposited into the Fund and are available for grant awards the following year. The USA Patriot Act of 2001 allowed private gifts, donations and bequests to the Crime Victims Fund.
OJP’s Office for Victims of Crime is committed to enhancing the nation’s capacity to assist crime victims and provide leadership to promote justice and healing for crime victims.
Over 90 percent of Fund deposits are distributed annually by OVC to states and territories to support state victim compensation and victim assistance programs. Remaining funds are used for training and technical assistance, national demonstration projects and to improve handling of child abuse cases in Indian communities. In addition, these funds support victim witness coordinator and advocate positions for U.S. Attorney Offices, victim specialist positions in the FBI and a federal victim notification system.
The Office of Justice Programs provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP is headed by an Assistant Attorney General and comprises 5 component bureaus and 2 offices: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and the Office for Victims of Crime, as well as the Executive Office for Weed and Seed, and the Office of the Police Corps and Law Enforcement Education. Information about OJP programs, publications, and conferences is available on the OJP Web site, www.ojp.usdoj.gov.
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